Seminole Tribe suspends revenue sharing payments with state of Florida

The Seminole Tribe is no longer sharing revenues with the state of Florida following the failure of Class III gaming compact negotiations.

The tribe had been working with Gov. Rick DeSantis (R) and state lawmakers on a new deal. But Chairman Marcellus Osceola Jr. said two factors influenced the decision to suspend revenue payments.

In a letter to the governor on Tuesday, Osceola said the state has failed to stop the proliferation of non-Indian card games despite promising to do so two years ago.

“Unfortunately, there has not been aggressive enforcement against those games," Osceola wrote in the letter, a copy of which was posted by The Miami Herald.

The second factor was DeSantis, who was sworn into office in January. According to Osceola, a new compact and new legislation would have settled the controversy -- but the governor wasn't ready.

"However, the tribe respects your desire to take more time to review the issues and to resume discussions this summer," Osceola wrote.

Under a compact signed in 2010, the tribe shares a portion of its revenues with the state. That has come to nearly $1.8 billion, according to figures posted by Florida Politics.

The money continued to flow even though a federal judge ruled that the state violated the compact by allowing non-Indian facilities offer card games that had been promised to the tribe. Chairman Osceola's letter puts an end to that arrangement until the issue can be resolved.

The tribe operates six gaming facilities in southern Florida. The 2010 compact promises exclusivity in that region of the state.

Read More on the Story

Seminole Tribe stops $350 million annual casino payments to state (The Miami Herald May 14, 2019)
Seminoles say they won’t make $330 million casino payments to Florida (The News Service of Florida May 14, 2019)
The break-up: Seminole Tribe stops paying state cut of casino money (FloridaPolitics.Com May 14, 2019)
Seminole tribe hand delivers letter stating stoppage of payments to Gov. DeSantis (WFLA May 14, 2019)
Seminole tribe cuts off funding to state (Capitol News Service May 15, 2019)